Joan Collins hates jeans, calls them tragic and can’t stand when they have holes


Dame Joan Collins is representing one of her favorite brands, Valentino, in their new Christmas campaign. Dame J, as most know, became an idealized fashion icon in the ‘80s with her Dynasty character Alexis Carrington, whose larger-than-life fashion matched her character’s personality. Dame J’s real-life personality is not that far off from Alexis’, so when Vogue spoke to her about her Valentino gig, she answered pretty much as we’d expect: with drama, flourish and a heavy dose of disdain. It’s all a marvelous read, but it is the disdainful bits that rise to the surface because Dame J is taking aim at one of America’s favorite clothing staples – jeans. Of course, she didn’t simply say she preferred not to wear them, no – she hates them. Why darlings, she thinks they are simply “tragic.”

Even if Alexis Carrington’s looks in Dynasty defined an entire era of fashion, Joan Collins seems bemused when I ask her to describe her style evolution across the decades since. “I suppose I just gravitate towards whatever catches my fancy, it’s eclectic. Why, how would you describe it?” says the 86-year-old actress. “Glamorous, playful, with a bit of sparkle,” I offer. “Sequins! But, of course!”

On the subject of the ’80s style revival, she observes that it’s never really gone away. “I think that the flamboyance of oversize earrings and ill-fitting skirts might have gone—skirts never fitted properly in the ’80s, by the way—and the huge curly hair might have gone, too. But the sleek style that I wore a lot in Dynasty, the pared-back suits but with definitive shoulders and small waists and embellishments of color and jewelry, I think smart women have been doing that through the decades.”

She does, however, mourn the days when dressing up for the day was more of an event. “I really hope that people will spend more money on clothes, because nobody dresses up anymore. If you do, then people stare at you, or make cutting remarks…well, maybe not cutting, but they’ll say something like, ‘Oh, look at you! You’re all dressed up.’ I find that very sad, because it will be the end of women buying elegant clothes in stores.

Everybody’s going to end up in jeans and T-shirts, which I think is tragic.” How does she respond if someone makes a comment like that to her? “Thank you,” she says, drily.

This move toward more casual dressing has created a very specific bête noire for Collins.

“I hate jeans. I hate them, they’re so unflattering. And I hate jeans with holes in the knees, or holes anywhere. I’m not keen on T-shirts with logos, either. I like to be comfortable, but I want to be elegant, too.” It’s something that she particularly struggles with in her adopted hometown of Los Angeles, where she has lived since the mid-’50s. “I don’t really fit in with the L.A. lifestyle, because everyone’s in T-shirts and jeans, and I don’t like that look.

[From Vogue via Jezebel]

Although these comments are dripping in Dame J-ness. I don’t agree with her on jeans. I think a well-fit pair of jeans are incredibly flattering. So much so that for many of us, that’s the first ‘treat’ we buy ourselves when our diets pay off. I also think that a well-selected pair of jeans can finish off a darling outfit. Yes, even the one’s with holes in the knees. Jeans have made a very good home in haute couture for both men and women. So I can understand a woman who lives most of her life in evening gowns and diamonds preferring to stay out of the denim aisle, but tragic? That’s a bit much, even for the likes of Dame J.

Or, perhaps, this is a spurned lover’s reaction resulting in Dame J and her own jean collection parting ways decades ago.

However, I’ll wave my perfectly coordinated, silk scarf at everything else she’s saying here. She’s right about LA, everyone wears t-shirts and jeans. We joke about how to find the most famous person in the room by looking for the worst dressed. While I think you can put together a really sharp outfit with a t-shirt and jeans, a lot of stars roll into high class restaurants looking like they’ve just tumbled out of bed. And, as she said, people do react almost mockingly to people who are dressed up over those who’ve dressed down. But nobody’s laughing too hard or to your face and everyone gets over it pretty quickly, so I don’t let it stop me. Hand to God, I wear heels and pantsuits in my home office if I’m feeling it. I love dressing up, few things bring me as much pleasure. So I’m always that person in the room. But it truly doesn’t bother me and honestly, I’m surprised to hear it does Dame J.

Here is her Valentino Christmas campaign – emphasis on the ‘camp:’



Right, all dressed for gardening. Bryce! Bring me some fertilizer”

Photo credit: WENN Photos and YouTube

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43 Responses to “Joan Collins hates jeans, calls them tragic and can’t stand when they have holes”

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  1. Ye says:

    One of many reasons that nobody says “I wanna go for a Joan Collins look today”. Ever.

    • bettyrose says:


    • Mads says:

      This B@#$*h!!
      Never mind she had her own jean collection in the 80’s! Joan Colllins Jeans. You can google images of her whoring them out. Or buy an old pair specifically worn by her at She has some nerve. (Plus a flat rump based on her cranking all the way over for naught).

      Ps, her jeans really suck. Her ass was flat back then. Make up in no longer her friend.
      One of those SoCal Girls wondering why she so tarted up.

      • Mads says:

        Also, liked her sister’s “over the topness” better

      • Bebe says:

        I mean, she sounds ridiculous, but can we not throw “flat rump” around like that insult is relevant to this convo? One, she can’t help that (I’m in the same boat lol) and, two, it doesn’t really have anything to do with why her comments are absurd.

    • Raina says:

      Yeah her look is a nope for me. Then again, per her description of clothes she loathes, one glance in my closet and r.i.p. Joan. Gimme some ripped jeans and a logo shirt any day.

  2. Jerusha says:

    I hate everything I’ve ever seen Joan Collins wear, starting all the way back in the Fifties. But, to each her own.

    • Christin says:

      She has never been a “less is more” person, be it makeup, jewelry or clothing style. Her preferred look overwhelms her, IMO.

  3. Erinn says:

    My grandmother once saw me in a pair of ripped up jeans and just sighed “Erinn sweetie, are you too broke to replace those slacks? If you need help, I will buy you new pants!” super concerned about the state of my finances. And I WAS super broke (early 20s), but had to explain to her that I bought them like that hahaha.

    I still like the odd ripped jeans, though. Some are absolutely hideous and not at all functional looking. But small rips I’m fine with. I DO understand why people hate them, though. And it’s not like I was wearing them to important events either. Just comfy, casual weekend jeans.

  4. Angela82 says:

    Uh I will agree with the holes in the jeans that people pay a fortune for but no one is going to take away my skinny jeans.

    • bettyrose says:

      I mock consumer stupidity, but nothing better in this world than a well worn pair of jeans you save for weekend errands.

    • Eliza says:

      Looking poor for the rich has been en vogue for years. Holes in jeans. Purposely dirty looking sneakers. Oversized stretched out $200 cotton tees in burnout fabric.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I like jeans, but almost never wear them. I LIVE in dresses…so easy – one and done! pair of boots or flats (or sandals in the summer) and BOOM outfit done.

      but jeans of course have their place…I wear them when the occasion calls. but, I agree 100% on the pre-ripped jeans…oh, pardon ME…”distressed”. I will NEVER understand buying pants that have pre-ripped holes. it’s one thing to wear a pair to the point they rip, but…just a big NO from me on that.

  5. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I love jeans and wear them almost everyday. Since I work from home, my standard uniform is a tshirt and jeans, but I dress professionally when I have business meetings.

    • bettyrose says:

      Definitely depends on the environment, but a good pair of jeans (especially dark denim) paired with a blouse & heels count as business wear in my world.

  6. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Well no one is really checking for Joan Collin’s opinions on modern fashion, so…whatever.

  7. aang says:

    That add was fantastic. I rarely wear jeans because they aren’t comfortable enough! Flannel pj pants are my winter go to. Unless I need to get dressed up, then I will sadly put on a pair of dark wash jeans, really dressed up = black jeans, but only if they are stretchy enough that I don’t feel stiff.

    • Adrianna says:

      I soon realized jeans weren’t for me, binding when I sat down, stiflingly hot in the summer, cold and clammy in the winter. It’s either capris or flared leg yoga pants which I absolutely love. Jeans are great for some though.

  8. Christin says:

    Maybe she is remembering stiff, high-waisted jeans of decades past? Today’s stretchy blends and dark washes are both comfortable and look nice, IMO.

    Buying new jeans with tears and holes already in them is “distressing” to me (pun intended). Reminds me of hearing about poverty-stricken relatives who had no choice but wear worn jeans years ago. But that is just something personal to me, not an all-out aversion to other people buying and wearing them.

  9. Charfromdarock says:

    I love the look of jeans but find them so uncomfortable and I always look terrible in them. I’ve long given up on finding a pair.

  10. Other Renee says:

    She’s right about Los Angeles. In fact everyone in SoCal dresses down.

    I recently lost 20 pounds and can now fit into my favorite jeans again. I did buy two new pairs of jeans but they’re just not as comfy as my old soft ones. Problem is they developed knee holes and I really do hate holes in jeans. Tacky AF. I considered patches but that would be just as tacky. My 25 year old daughter said, “Mom, you finally look cool!” to which I said, “I don’t wanna look cool!”

    • BeanieBean says:

      In high school, I’d take the Levi patch from the back waistband & use it as a patch on the kneehole I’d inevitably get on the left knee (I’d trip & fall a lot onto my left knee). I thought I was so brilliant. And I’d take out the hem & sew a flowery band of edging along the bottom. I thought I looked fab.

      • Other Renee says:

        BeanieBean, I’m totally sure that you DID look fab! The only thing that mattered anyway is that YOU thought so. 🙂

      • whatWHAT? says:

        in high school, we used to patch ours with bandannas or any other pretty colorful fabric we could find.

      • JanetDR says:

        I kept a few pairs of my very embroidered (by me) and creatively patched jeans from the 70s. I used bandanas too whatWhat, and whatever was around – furry tiger print, a bit of paisley from my first bell bottoms, etc, etc. I will never get into them again, but my kids used to wear them for hippie day at school and well, there’s too much of me in there to let them go. I wear yoga pants almost everyday now – so comfy!

  11. megs283 says:

    Not to sound like my mom, but I don’t get why people buy jeans with holes in them! No thank you.

  12. Veronica S. says:

    I actually agree with her about jeans lol. They can be a real pain to find a nice, flattering fit unless you’re willing to shell out the money for alterations. If it wasn’t for the fact that I live in a very cold area in the winter months, I wouldn’t wear them at all, but alas. When it hits into deep temps, jeans are the best way to go with a warm sweater. But otherwise, I don’t find them particularly comfortable, and I loathe that skinny jeans have taken over the norm for women’s pants. God, sometimes I just want to do a straight leg, is that too much to ask??

    Her style isn’t mine, but I’ve always loved it because it had so much personality. It’s just the look of a woman who doesn’t care at all what anybody thinks lol.

  13. BeanieBean says:

    In that last photo, I think that jacket & scarf would look really nice with a white T-shirt & a well-fitting pair of jeans, with whatever kind of shoe makes you happy. But it’s fine, she’s clearly not of the jean-wearing generation. While I know women wore jeans as early as the ’40s & ’50s, I think it’s the Boomers in the ’60s who made it the clothing of choice from then to now & likely forever. I used to dress up all the time, no matter the occasion; now it’s jeans jeans jeans & I feel just as great as I did when dressed up with heels, make up, & hair just so.

  14. paranormalgirl says:

    I wear jeans a lot. Some of them have holey knees, but those are reserved for hanging out, not going out and I would never buy them that way. I have some really nice jeans that I will pair with a t-shirt and jacket on days when I have a light patient load.

  15. perplexed says:

    Jeans are fine, but I do think they tend to look the best on fit people. Someone like Jennifer Aniston does look better in jeans than someone who is not fit. Jeans can be unforgiving, whereas I think you can make your body look better or hide flaws in other kinds of clothing.

  16. Turtledove says:

    I think jeans can look fantastic and flattering on lots of people. They are NOT for me, I just find them uncomfortable (even stretchy ones- I think it is my shape, no butt, and no defined waist, they end up too tight, or if I get them big enough to be comfortable on belly…they slide down) and they just don’t look great on me. I have seen lots of people wear them dressed up, and they look polished and stylish. And there is nothing wrong with throwing on a t and jeans, sometimes you just need some comfy and casual clothes. We don’t all have to be dressed to the nines to run errands, and there is no shame in that.

  17. Sparky says:

    I live in a So Cal beach town and things are pretty casual here. That said, I do believe there are times and places where jeans are not appropriate. Given last week’s criticism of Blake Shelton for wearing jeans to awards shows indicates that a lot of CB’ers agree! (I also find buying jeans with holes odd but I get that it’s the trend.)

  18. Ninjacat says:

    I have never liked jeans. Too binding and I hate ppl staring @ my ass. After spending a fortune over the years, only because I thought I should wear jeans because everyone does, last year I donated all my denim. And haven’t looked back!

  19. bobafelty says:

    Those is glass houses..? Her botched plastic surgery is so tragic.

  20. Savannah says:

    She’s a million years old and grew up in the generation where women were merely props in mens lives.

    She’s too old to judge people for how they dress.
    If not being able to dress up anymore, without people commenting, is so sad she should just get out of the way for us younger generations who try and save this planet her generation ruined with their “elegant clothing” and misogyny.
    We DON’T need people to spend more money on clothing, in fact we need people to STOP SHOPPING.

    Move on grandma

  21. Carina says:

    I too, if 200 years old like Joan Collins, would turn my nose up at jeans.


    Honestly I thought she had died already.